As part of our tour of the United States of Stocks, we took at closer look at publicly traded companies based in the southern states. Our list of 17 companies includes multinational blue-chip behemoths (the world’s largest retailer is among them) as well as a number of smaller firms.
A word of caution: Since we picked a single stock from each state in the South and the District of Columbia, and choices in some places are sparse, a few of these stocks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not a selection of our favorite stocks in the entire region, in other words. Take a look at the best stocks in the South to buy now.
Alabama: Vulcan Materials
Share price: $129.34
Market value: $17.1 billion
Price-earnings ratio: 31
The nation’s leading producer and distributor of crushed stone, Vulcan is trading near an all-time high thanks to a run-up in the stocks of building-materials companies following the presidential election. And if the current administration goes forward with its plan to spend $1 trillion to revamp the nation’s infrastructure, few companies stand to benefit more than Vulcan.
But considering the uncertainty surrounding the Trump White House lately, it’s good for investors that an infrastructure bill would only be icing on Vulcan’s already growing cake. Matt Miller, an analyst at stock research firm CFRA, sees private construction spending rising more than 10% in 2017. Supported by a steady recovery in nonresidential construction, he says, Vulcan’s earnings will grow by 57% in 2017, to $4.50 per share, followed by a 29% bump in 2018, to $5.80 a share. Miller rates the stock a “strong buy” with a 12-month price target of $160.